Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild – Split Shed Workshop
Deborah Silver Workshop, Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild, February 16, 2019 HUMBUG GUILD SPLIT SHED WORKSHOP FEB 16, 2019
By Carol Hacherl
The Humbug Guild enjoyed a workshop on Saturday on Feb 16 with weaving instructor Deborah Silver, who travelled to teach us from Cleveland, Ohio.
Deborah taught us her split-shed technique. Deborah works with only 4 shafts, yet her approach allows a weaver to create fairly complex image on a woven piece. To do this, pattern sheds are split (i.e. some shafts are raised only halfway, creating two mini-sheds). Weavers use a not-too-heavily loaded stick shuttle as they selectively “pick up” warp threads on each pattern weft shot, following a cartoon to “paint” the design.
Deborah has done an extensive investigation of split-shed weaving, and has figured out how to use the technique with a wide variety of weave structures. She shared her weaving journey through photos and a selection of lovely hands-on samples of her work. Deborah will be pulling this together into a book on her technique. (I can’t wait!)
For our workshop, we used a weave technique called “Beiderwand” – Deborah described the structure as “similar to summer and winter, but with 5-end floats instead of 3-end.” Deborah provided line drawings and guided us through creating and attaching a cartoon to each of our looms. (That in itself is a great new skill to have!)
To weave, we followed Deborah’s treadling / shaft lifting plan. On pattern (split) sheds, we used shuttles of thick rug weft in two colors. We followed our cartoons to “pick up” warp threads, choosing between the upper and lower halves of the split shed per the design. We alternated pattern sheds with plain weave (tabby) sheds, and the tabby weft formed the background for our designs.
Deborah also showed us how to weave a design in Bronson lace using the same threading. For Bronson, we wove with weft yarn that matched our warp and a used different treadling sequence. This time, threads picked up from the split shed wove Bronson lace in the pattern areas, while plain weave was woven in the background – a nice design for a window hanging.
Deborah was a delightful instructor! She was warm and engaging. She was highly knowledgeable about her material, her explanations were very clear, and her handouts were thorough. (I appreciate how the handout makes it easy to reflect on and retain what we learned in that busy day.) The workshop had plenty of content to challenge experienced weavers, and yet less experienced weavers were able to participate and gain skills as well.
Deborah Silver Workshop, Humbug Weavers and Spinners Guild, February 16, 2019
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